Sent to “The Yellow Advertiser” 28/9/13.

I would like to thank those shops that are participating in a campaign designed to protect children from the poisonous effects of a dangerous but completely legal drug. The facts about caffeine have been known for a long time: it’s a habit-forming stimulant linked to a wide variety of physical and psychological disorders ranging from headaches and heart problems to irritability and nervousness. If adults wish to gamble with their health then they should of course be allowed, but the indiscriminate sale of this drug – cheaply-priced and shiny-logo’d and addictive – to children, will soon be no less a crime than selling them alcohol or cigarettes.

As yet no moral leadership on this issue has been forthcoming from the politicians of any party: so, again, thanks to those local stores that have agreed to place principles over profit and are refusing to sell energy-drinks to minors.